“What’s your Wi-Fi password?” This question is best known to visitors trying to connect to your Wi-Fi at home or in a cafe or restaurant. However, this question is not limited to these places, given the massive importance of people on Wi-Fi these days.
Wi-Fi is a term given to a wireless network that uses radio frequency signals to connect the Internet between devices. Since its development in 1997, it has played a vital role in modern technological devices. Almost everyone uses gadgets, from smartphones to computers. Others can’t imagine what life would be like without Wi-Fi! Homes, offices and public places have Wi-Fi connections installed because people find it essential. Anyone with Internet service uses a Wi-Fi network to share that service with all the devices in their home or workplace.
In today’s world, the vast majority of Wi-Fi networks are password protected. Even public Wi-Fi has started to be controlled. Many places you visit have their passwords posted in the building to help prevent bandwidth thieves from outside and to encrypt data transmissions inside. For convenience, manufacturers have created several ways for a guest user to access the network without knowing a password, but it’s not as easy as you might think. In this article, you will see several methods to connect to Wi-Fi without password.
Please note, however, that it’s a violation of good manners (and most likely the law) to access someone’s Wi-Fi network without their permission. Make sure you have permission from the network owner before using any of the methods below.
Use WPS to connect without a password
WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup. WPS is an older technology that works on networks using the WPA Personal or WPA2 Personal security protocol. WPS has been replaced by DPP (Device Provisioning Protocol), as shown in the next section.
To note: Android 10 and above use the safest DPP Wi-Fi connection (Wi-Fi Easy Connect™) rather than WPS. This section of the article has been retained for older devices that use WPS.
Stripped of the technobabble, WPS means that if a Wi-Fi router resides in a location physically accessible to guests, they can create a network connection to the router by pressing a button on the device rather than entering a password. You usually didn’t have access to routers in a public place, but you COULD use WPS in a residential setting, assuming the tenant or landlord lets you “touch” their router.
WPS was a common method of connecting guest users in a home or small office environment. Since people outside the building or in a set of rooms had no physical access to the router, they had no way to surreptitiously steal Wi-Fi service. Only people you invited were able to access your Wi-Fi network without a password. Pressing a button on the router’s control panel is much easier than entering a random 16-digit security code on a small smartphone keypad.
Using WPS is very simple. Usually all you need to do is make sure you have the correct settings on your smartphone (Android 9 or earlier) or other guest device and can physically access the router. Here’s how.
Note: The exact steps may vary slightly depending on your operating system and version.
Use WPS instead of a password
- Launch it “Settings” the app from the home screen.
- Navigate to the “Network and Internet Settings” section.
- Press on “Wireless.”
- Select “Additional Settings.”
- Press the “WPS button connection” option.
- Then a dialog box should open asking you to push the “WPS button” on the router.
- You have about 30 seconds to do this before the WPS handshake protocol stops, then you will need to repeat this step. Push it “WPS button” if you haven’t already, it’s usually clearly labeled with “WPS.”
- Your phone automatically connects to the Wi-Fi network and you shouldn’t have to repeat these steps unless you tell your device to forget the Wi-Fi connection.
To note: For some routers, there is a WPS PIN instead of a button. You’ll need to tap this option in your internet settings and enter the PIN code, usually found on a sticker under the router.
WPS was a convenient and convenient method of connecting to a Wi-Fi network without a password. However, it was prone to password and SSID hacking, mostly from hacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices and brute force on PIN. Apple refused to support the WPS standard and Android removed the option in Android 9 updates. This statement means that our new technology will not have this as an option. Of course, you’ve already read some of that above.
Using Router Guest Mode Without Password
Another option to connect without a Wi-Fi password is to use a “Guest” Wi-Fi connection. This type is different from connecting to a secure network as a guest as mentioned previously. A “guest” network, which you may already be familiar with, is an unsecured/unencrypted Wi-Fi network and usually does not require a password to connect. The term “usually” is used because a password can be configured in the router settings if the owner wishes.
Most public establishments that offer free Wi-Fi include the “Guest” connection without a password. Depending on the network you’re using, most require you to agree to the company’s terms and services, which display as a browser pop-up. Once you select “Accept” or “Accept”, this opens the door to Wi-Fi internet access.
The downside of a guest network without a password is the potential bandwidth limits set by the company and the fact that the connection is not secured by encryption. It’s probably fine for your mountaintop cabin or second home on Mars, though. Either way, guest networks work for any type of device.
Using a QR code over WPS to access WiFi without a password
If you want to access someone’s WPS Wi-Fi network, you can always use QR codes instead. Keep in mind that the QR code method is a bit complicated and requires some technical knowledge.
Some routers include a QR code on the back or bottom, usually near the SSID and default password information. However, this method only works for factory-set SSIDs and passwords. Also, the QR code on newer routers may be for Easy Connect™ DPP/Wi-Fi connections rather than WPS. There’s more on DPP below.
If the user changed the SSID name or password at any time, the router’s printed QR code becomes unusable. Regardless of this drawback, this method is generally used for smartphones and tablets, since laptops usually do not offer a QR scanning device or app.
Using the Router’s QR Code to Access Someone’s Wi-Fi
- On iPhone, open the camera app and go to “Settings”. Make sure QR code scanning is enabled, then skip to step 3. For Android users, skip to step 2.
- On Android, download an app that scans QR codes.
- Launch the QR code app on Android or the camera app (iPhone/iOS) and scan the QR code on the back of the router.
- Now you should receive a banner or notification to connect to the Wi-Fi network. Tap the Wi-Fi SSID to connect.
Using DPP/Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ to Connect to Routers Without a Password
Android 10 and later replaced WPS with DPP security connections, which produces a tighter seal on data transmission and allows easier device connectivity to networks and routers without having passwords. Today, you may know this type of connection as “Wi-Fi Easy Connect™”, which uses DPP rather than WPS connectivity.
To note: Wi-Fi Easy Connect is NOT the same as Wi-Fi Direct, which connects devices to each other as a network.
DPP and Wi-Fi Easy Connect™ features:
- The connection uses WPA3 security.
- Login helps Wi-Fi devices to connect to the router without using SSID and password.
- Connecting allows devices to easily join Wi-Fi networks (with a router [or without a router using a device to manage connections]) without requiring an SSID or password.
- The protocol uses NFC tags, QR codes, Bluetooth LE, and human-readable strings (the good old SSID/password combo) to gain network, device, and Internet access.
To better understand the technology, you connect your smartphone to the router and then use the phone as a configurator that connects other devices to the network. Then all connected devices connect to the router and get internet and a wireless local area network (WLAN) connection. Your phone serves as an assistant to connect devices to the network, and multiple devices can become a configurator.
Using DPP to connect without needing a router password.
- Open “Wi-Fi Settings” on Android 10+.
- Scroll down the “Emphasis Point” list. In the “Add a network” line, press the “scan icon” on the right side.
- A QR code scanner appears. Scan a device QR code found on the device or digitally inside if using a phone as a configurator. You can scan any device that has a QR code. If no QR code is available, proceed to “Step 4”.
- If no setup device has a QR code available, find a PIN on the device and enter it instead.
That’s it! Your device handles the rest. You now have a network connection and possibly an Internet connection if present. Any new device scans a QR code and also connects automatically.
In conclusion, now you know the main methods of connecting to Wi-Fi without a password. Remember that you should always use open networks with care. After all, you never know who is snooping on this network. WPS connections are generally acceptable, but the new DPP protocol is the best. The router must support WPA3, as well as the phone, tablet or computer. You only get it on the latest devices and computers.
Did you manage to connect to Wi-Fi without password? Let us know in the comments below.